If I don’t use sprites, is there any reason I shouldn’t use Bourbon over Compass? http://t.co/oamHSAA88n
— Joni Korpi (@jonikorpi) November 7, 2013
Twitter’s 140 character limit didn’t allow me to answer this question on a level I wanted to.
TL;DR Compass provides lots of stuff and thus is better for projects that live on; e.g. products and long running projects. Bourbon is good for small stuff, one-off projects or other projects that only live for a short period of time.
With Compass, it’s easier to maintain and extend the software. As a long-running project moves forward, Compass’ features enable you to be more agile; developing new features and improving old features is generally faster, when you have a powerful framework, and can’t know what the future holds. A new feature might require something that Compass just provides out-of-the-box! Done. Carry on. With Bourbon, since Bourbon is light and simple, it’s more likely that you would have to roll your own, or hope that someone has created something else and use that. This requires extra time and skill.
Bourbon is excellent if you’re creating something like a mini marketing site for a company, a simple promo page for a product, or similar. A small timespan project. Bourbon gets the job done and the site goes live. You do a few updates and tweaks to the site later and that’s it. Simple.
Arguably, Compass makes your SCSS slower to compile. It might be important to you. It depends on the context. But try not to sacrifice maintainability over performance, unless performance is a huge problem.
Cheers to Joni Korpi for inspiring me to write this post :)